How we create
We've been working with NASA GeneLab and Wisconsin Space Grant Consortium to make life science data accessible to teachers and citizen scientists. This work was made possible by collaborators at the NSF CyVerse Cloud Computing infrastructure, the JPL interplanetary protection team, the European Bioinformatics Institute (EBI) and Qlik. The AstroBotany team's international presence has grown linking researchers, educators and students in the US, Japan and the UK. Our goal is to use the excitement of space exploration to train the next generation of citizen scientists to tackle any challenges that may arise in the future. If you're interested in developing instructional material we recommend checking out this guide from the data carpentry community and study the CyVerse cloud resources.
Above: A random selection of research, education and outreach related experiences that were captured on film such as Simon on Japanese television.
AstroBotany is always awesome!
Researchers in the Gilroy lab can't help but want to share our fascination with science and plant biology with anyone who will listen; thus, we are active reaching out to local schools, civic groups and the public in general. These activities range from talks and interviews on local TV and radio to visiting schools and societies to discuss plant and space science. We also collaborate with groups such as the Madison West High School Rocketry Club and Badger Ballistics (the University undergraduate counterparts) to design and fly plant science payloads on their rockets (these students are AWESOME!). Additionally, we work closely with the outreach groups at the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery and the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation to provide a regular presence at outreach events such as Saturday Science, DIY Science and Science Expeditions, where we have an immense amount of fun showing how plants work and what happens when you put them into space. Check out our Facebook page for the latest on where we are and what we will be doing. When we are actively running flight experiments to the International Space Station, technical updates are posted to our spaceflight blog.
National geographic bio-dome simulator "SimDoc"
We love how space exploration gets people excited about STEM. We also love how the arts inspire people to dream of the future, thus are firm advocates for STEAM. In this video Professor Gilroy discuses the science of the Maritan with the channel 3 new team. More AstroBotany related out reach videos can be found on AstroBotanyTV. Alternatively you could try modeling what a community on mars could look like using this new National graphical Mars Base Modeling Data Game.
Let's grow plants in space.
The "Settlers of Mars" game revealed the need for NVDI
Below: Video showing Near Vegetative Differential Imaging (NVDI) to observe the Arabidopsis plants reduction in photosynthetic efficiency as a result of a Penicillin pathogen.
Undergraduate engineering project based
Having access to 3D printers, laser cutters, motors, Arduinos, wires and encouragement is required. But most importantly, we've learned that grit is the key to a successful project!